Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Service Change: Portugal, Part 1 - The Lisbon Metro

Okay, it's been a quite a lot longer than a week - sorry about that. But I went to Portugal! And I rode a lot of public transportation over there! The Lisbon Metro, for example, as you can see by the post's title.


Since most of it is underground, I figured I'd cover the whole thing in one post - I did ride it all, though. But if most of the system is underground, then what's so interesting about it? The stations, that's what. Being a modern system (the first line was built in 1959, but most extensions took place after the 90's), a lot of them are absolutely beautiful, and almost all of them have artwork. Thus, this post will mostly focus on the Metro's stations.

Wow, way to light up your shot, Miles.
Lisbon has really good fare integration, with the Viva viagem card being valid for Metro, buses, trams, funiculars, suburban rail, and ferries. The card costs €0,50 initially, but it gives you a €0,15 discount on Metro rides (€1,25 instead of €1,40). You also get small bonuses when you add money, but unfortunately, you can only add it in €5 increments.

The Blue Line: The Blue Line was the first line on the Metro, taking a northeasterly path from Santa Apolonia in downtown Lisbon to Amadora Este out of the city. Amadora Este is a pretty standard station, though there is a bit of artwork on one of the station's walls. Also, if you look down the tunnel where the trains lay over, there are some offices above the tracks!

The platform.
The mezzanine area where you can cross to the other side.
A train coming in.
Two stations from here is Pontinha, where we originally got onto this line from a bus. Pontinha has a huge busway served by...three bus routes. There's a yard here as well for both buses and trains. As for the platform, it gets a bunch of natural light, which is fantastic in my book.

The busway.
A big plaza outside the station.
The entrance.
The mezzanine.
The bright platform.
A round elevator? Have you ever seen anything this cool???
And this thing is cool too!
A train coming into the station. Did I mention the trains here drive on the left for some reason?
I didn't visit any of the next batch of stations as the line makes its way toward downtown. It has an interchange with suburban rail at Jardim Zoologico, then with the Red Line at Sao Sebastiao. I did use this station, and it was nice, if generic.

The platform at Sao Sebastiao.
The next station, Parque, is apparently the most beautiful one on the system. I didn't use it, unfortunately, nor did I use the Blue Line platforms at Marques de Pombal. The next station I did use is Restauradores near the heart of Lisbon. This station has a connection to Rossio Station for suburban trains, but confusingly is not the same as Rossio Station on the Green Line, which serves Rossio Square...never mind.

Another blurry train.
The end of the Restauradores platform, with different cities on the panels.
Looking at the platform from above.
These moving sidewalks slant up at the end! That's so cool!
A series of escalators leading up to the Rossio suburban station.
After that is Baixa-Chiado, the Blue Line's interchange with the Green Line. The platform itself is pretty generic, but the hallway you use to get between the lines is amazing. There's also a cross-platform transfer between the northbound Blue Line and southbound Green Line, which is convenient. As this station is in the main tourist part of town, it gets a lot of ridership.

The platform.
The amazing-looking walkway!
For a while, Baixa-Chiado was the Blue Line's terminus, but recently (as in 2007), the line was extended further. It took 11 years to build a two-stop extension, but...well, at least it's done. Terreiro do Paco serves Lisbon's massive riverfront Praca de Comercio, while the terminus, Santa Apolonia, serves a suburban rail station.

The Santa Apolonia platform.
Yellow Line: The Yellow Line was the second line to be built, running from Rato in Lisbon all the way up to Odivelas out of the city. Rato (which coincidentally means "rat") had a pretty standard platform, but also another awesome hallway, complete with statues!

Rato's platform.
Rato's long hallway.
Marques de Pombal is where the Yellow Line interchanges with the Blue. This was the first Metro station we used, taking the Yellow Line two stops up to Saldanha (which I'll get to in a moment). Between Marques de Pombal and the next stop, Picoas, there's an interesting quirk where the street the line runs along goes onto a bridge. It's an incredibly short bridge just over a side street, but it means that on the train, you get about half a second of sunlight that can catch you by surprise.

That bridge underneath the road bridge is where the Metro runs.
The hallway to the mezzanine at Marques de Pombal.
And the mezzanine itself.
This being the first Metro station I went to, I also took pictures of the ticket machines.
Some of the fare gates.
These countdown clocks go down the second. Thus, it's 8 minutes and 20 seconds until the next train.
Looking down the platform.
This section was much higher up.
A blurry train coming in.
The inside of one of the older trains. The new ones have walk-through cars.
The automatic announcements are hard to hear, so it's a good thing they have these screens.
Saldanha, the interchange between the Yellow and Red lines, was our local station for most of our stay in Lisbon. This station is beautiful, with walls made out of what appears to be marble. It also has quite a lot of artwork carved out of the walls, which is very cool.

A train leaving the station.
I love this platform!
Art on the walls.
And more art heading up the stairs.
The fare machines.
Heading toward the exit.
The entrance is pretty unassuming, though.
Two stops away is Entrecampos, which connects to the mainline Entre Campos station. I have no idea why the latter is spelled as two words, but whatever. Aside from suburban trains, Entre Campos also serves long-distance trains to other parts of Portugal. The Metro station is awesome, with massive columns lining the platform.

Descending down to the Metro.
You gotta love these moving sidewalks.
The mezzanine.
Look at those columns!!!
These three car trains were the bane of my existence in Lisbon.
The next stop, Cidade Universitaria, serves the Universidade de Lisboa (Lisbon University). After that, the line goes (gasp!) above ground. Don't get your hopes up, it's only for a few seconds as it approaches the elevated Campo Grande station for an interchange with the Green Line. The line dives right back underground after that stop.

Here's another inside-the-train shot, this time with a walk-through train.
What a beeeeeaaaaauuuuuutiful view. I'm being sarcastic.
Some houses.
And some more houses.
Argh, this picture would be so good if it wasn't blurry!!!
The clean, if uninteresting platform.
Hey, some art!
A lone pigeon stands in the mezzanine.
The line goes underground after that, going by some stations we didn't visit. The next station of note is Senhor Roubado, where the line comes out into the open. From there, the line runs elevated over some highway interchanges. It would offer an awesome view of the surrounding hills, were it not for the fact that they decided to put a stupid hood over the tracks. It makes it hard to see stuff, and even harder to take pictures.

Ugh.
Some buildings in the hills. And a hood.
Some houses running up a hill. Notice the hood in the foreground.
What could be an excellent view is hampered by a STUPID HOOD.
The next and last stop, Odivelas, is actually outside of Lisbon city limits. That said, it's still in a very urban area. The station is technically underground, but it's shallow, so lots of natural light gets in from above.

A train leaving the station.
Not a bad-looking platform.
Looking into the mezzanine.
Green Line: Oh, Lisbon Green Line...why must you always use three car trains? I mean, the Green Line always uses short trains, The trade-off, I suppose, is that it does run more often than other lines, but it's often more crowded, too. Plus, it can be really annoying when you wait at the back of a station and then have to run to the front when a train comes. The line's northern terminus is Telheiras, which is underground, though the tunnel portal is visible from the platform.

The platform.
Looking from above - I love the artwork on the wall where the tunnel starts!
Some fare gates.
Light!!!
Two trains at the station.
Who's up for another interior shot?
The line rises up soon after Telheiras. It's basically the same views as the Yellow Line, since they have a cross-platform transfer at the elevated Campo Grande station. And just like on the Yellow Line, the Green goes right back underground after the stop. It's all downhill from here, folks.

A Green Line train at Campo Grande.
A big stadium. Or indeed, a campo grande.
Some buildings and a small road.
A larger highway.
Lots of apartment buildings.
Hey, it's the minions! Or "minimos."
And some more buildings.
The next stop is Alvalade, then a pair of stations that technically connect to suburban rail services - if you're willing to take a bit of a walk. There's an interchange with the Red Line at Alameda, which is a pretty generic station except for one thing, which you'll see in the pictures.

A train at the station.
The platform.
A mezzanine area.
Okay, this is pretty fancy, but it's not the cool part.
This is!! These moving ramps might've been slippery and potentially dangerous, but...hey, they're unique.
This is sort of reminiscent of Downtown Crossing except not terrible.
The next stop is Martim Moniz, which I also used. Although the entrance is a bit dodgy, the station has some interesting Arabic artwork on the walls. The platform isn't as interesting, but it's still a nice station.

The entrance looks especially gross at night.
Check out that artwork on the wall, though!
Here's some more artwork.
The nice mezzanine.
And the platform.
A train coming in.
After that is Rossio, which serves the square rather than the suburban train station. However, this is still Lisbon's big tourist neighborhood, so the station is well-used. It doesn't have anything special about it, but it's still nice.

The platform.
Some artwork within the architecture.
Out in the mezzanine.
And the entrance.
Baixa-Chiado is where the Green Line interchanges with the Blue, then it continues to the last stop, Cais de Sodre. This station serves a suburban rail station of the same name for trains out to the beach town of Cascais. It also has the most unique art on the Lisbon Metro, or indeed on any subway system I've ever been to.

The platform.
A train that just arrived.
The huge hallway leading to the mezzanine.
And there's that unique artwork!
I love these rabbits so much! They line the walls.
Man, that's a lot of fare gates!
The very tall mezzanine.
This exit is cavernous.
The slightly underwhelming entrance.
Oh, and here's another rabbit. They're so tall!
Red Line: The Red Line is the newest line, and thus it has the most modern stations. Running to the east of the city, it serves both Lisbon's main rail terminal and the airport. It starts out at an interchange with the Blue Line, Sao Sebastiao, with a standard-looking platform.

Looking down the platform.
A view looking up.
The platform from above.
The next station is Saldanha, where the Red Line and Yellow Lines intersect. The Red Line platform is pretty modern, with some art in the tiles of the walls, including writing, It's in Portuguese, so I'm not sure what it says, but it's an interesting addition to the platform.

Looking down the platform.
Some text on the wall.
I mentioned how the Green Line platform at Alameda is pretty generic. The Red Line one is much better. It's very open, with high ceilings, interesting walls, and a blend of modern and old-fashioned architecture.

A large mezzanine.
It's so big!
Looking over the platform.
And on the platform.
A train coming in.
You thought that station was amazing? Oh, boy, you ain't seen nothing yet. The next station, Olaias, is the most beautiful subway station I've ever seen. I mean...just look at these pictures!

I'm lost for words...
The quality for these pictures is lower because these were taken on an iPhone (the camera was out of battery), but you can still see how beautiful this station is.
Rainbow boats? Sure, why not?
This panorama of the mezzanine makes my head spin...
It seems like it can't get any better, but it does - the line goes above ground right after Olaias! Okay, it's for a short time, but it goes over a little valley with some interesting views. It also goes over the suburban rail tracks, but there's no interchange with any stations.

Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting the line to go above ground, so it took me a while to get my camera out, and...yeah.
The line continues through Bela Vista, Chelas, Olivais, and Cabo Ruivo stations, then comes to Oriente. This modern station has become Lisbon's main rail terminal for both suburban trains and long-distance trains. For such a busy place, the Metro station was dark and generic. It did have some artwork, though.

Pretty dark in here...
There isn't anything special about this platform.
Here's some artwork, though.
From there, after stops at Moscavide and Encarnacao, the line reaches its last stop at Aeroporto (airport). Platform-wise, there isn't much of note here, but I do love the artwork on the walls - this station has a bunch of caricatured people all over. It's pretty fun to look at them, and at least some of them are based on famous people. The problem with this station is that it doesn't have nearly enough ticket machines, causing a massive line of confused tourists to always exist here.

The platform.
One of the caricatures. A runner, I guess?
I love this entrance!
Phew, that was a long post - I guess covering a whole metro system takes a while. I'm so sorry this took four times the amount promised to get published, but posts should be more frequent from here on out. Hopefully.

2 comments:

  1. When I was 12, my family moved to Portugal for one year. We lived on the Cais do Sodre to Cascais commuter rail. I took that train to school, every day. Our house was not just on the rail line, it was _right_ on the rail line. The house had a small backyard and on the other side of the back fence were the rails. 100 yards further along the line, the eastbound train came to a grade crossing, so every train sounded its horn just as it came by the house. My bedroom window faced out onto the back yard. At first, the train woke me up, but I got a train schedule, put it on my bedside table, and told myself it was like a clock chiming, except at weird intervals. After the 10:14 pm "chime", I'd think, time to wrap up homework, and get to sleep before the 11:30 chime. I thought a fair amount, that year, about how they could have express trains and locals running on the same rails, and how you could transfer between them at certain "correspondence" stations that had multiple platforms in each direction, and how the scheduling worked so that the express trains could pass the locals. The schedule I had did not show when the express train would pass our house, because those trains did not actually stop in Parede, my town. But the express came past at our house at just as precise a time as if it _were_ scheduled there. I know, because I took notes. I took notes? It's possible that I was, at that age, really into public transportation. Weird hobby, eh?
    Eric Cornell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, who the heck would be into something as strange as public transportation? How weird...

      But in all seriousness, that's an interesting story! I wanted to ride the Cascais Line during our stay, but we never got to. We did do the one to Sintra, which I'll be covering later.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...